PayPal to ban 'unsafe' browsers

Safari and certain versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer denied access

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  April 20, 2008

Popular payment site PayPal.com has announced that it will block web browsers that lack anti-phishing features and support for validation certificates.

The firm revealed that it plans to block older versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, along with early versions of Opera and Netscape. The only new browser version to be blocked is Apple's Safari browser.

This announcement comes two months after the firm issued a warning, advising web users not to make transactions using Safari. In contrast to Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7 and Opera 9, Safari doesn't include a phishing filter or support for validation certificates.

In an official report revealed at a RSA security conference earlier this month, Paypal revealed that there are still a significant number of members using older browsers such as IE 3 and IE 4. According to the firm, such 'unsafe browsers' lack anti-phishing technology and support for Extended Validation Certificates (EVC), which are digital certificates that mark a service as 'trusted' during a web transaction.

"In our view, letting users view the PayPal site on one of these browsers is equal to a car manufacturer allowing drivers to buy one of their vehicles without seat belts," stated PayPal officials.

They went on to say, "At PayPal, we are in the process of re-implementing controls, which will first warn our customers when logging in to PayPal from those browsers that we consider unsafe. Later, we plan on blocking customers from accessing the site from the most unsafe - usually the oldest - browsers."

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